Being at home for many unbroken days in a row gave me a whole new appreciation for my bed. The geography of it is imprinted on my back, shoulders, and feet, the sweetly sloping valley that holds my body just so, the central range of futon that separates my side from D's, the puffy bottom corner that holds my feet just above the average mean, the soft outer edge that supports one knee above my hip. It's a king sized bed and when I stretch out, my arms above my head and legs straight out, my toes just curl over the bottom and my fingertips just extend into the window sill-I never felt tiny until we got this bed.
While I was laid up all that time, sick and then broken, I had the TV controller, rolls of toilet paper (for nose blowing), piles of books, my knitting and quilting, and still there was room for a cat. Windows to the open valley below so I could watch the birds and neighbors and sun moving across the sky.
Very much like the Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, In the Land of Counterpane:
When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
Being sick sucks, having a really good reason for staying in bed doesn't.
Books read while recuperating:
Illyria, by Elizabeth Hand: Atmospheric, a little eerie, youngest siblings in two families (cousins) have been in love since birth. Beautifully written, slender book about hidden lives and secrets. 14 and up.
Morning Glory, by Diana Peterfreund: The Children's Book staff at Third Place Books loves Diana and we HAD to read this novelization of the movie. It was good, now I don't have to see the movie! Grown-ups.
Hull Zero Three, by Greg Bear: massive, universe crossing ship filled with creatures and a few humans. Are they lost? This was really good, I love books about long trips where the ships have to make decisions and what happens as a result. 13 and up, it's in the science fiction section of the store.
Shadow Hills, by Anastasika Hopcus (debut novel): Boarding school novel about a girl and her classmates who have powers no one talks about, until her unknown powers make themselves known. It was fun and the romance was good. 12 and up.
The Scorch Trials, by James Dashner (sequel to Maze Runner): You must read Maze Runner! This is a really great sequel but I wish I'd read Maze Runner again before starting it. A book placed in the future, you find out what's going on as the main character does; he is a maze runner, put out into a massive, changeable maze where not reaching the end will kill you. 12 and up .
Scrawl, by Mark Shulman: This was fabulous. A boy spending detention writing about why he and his friends are in detention. I love these kinds of books, too, where the characters discover who and what they are by writing about it. 12 and up.
Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses, by Claire Dederer: Just what it says! Very good memoir about life, children, marriage while learning yoga. Grown-ups.
Night Road, by Kristin Hannah: Ah, I love me some Kristin Hannah. This was really good. A foster child finds a home with her grandmother and friendship with a wealthy family. She falls in love with the older brother, trying to keep it secret from the younger sister. A horrible accident separates her from the family. It is a weeper (the publicist sent a box of kleenex with the book. And, may I say, the lotion in them was a welcome relief to toilet paper on my nose.). Grown-ups.
Sapphique, by Catherine Fisher (sequel to Incarceron): You should read the two of these close together, too. It's kind of a dystopian future, a little steampunk-y, and very different. Read Incarceron without knowing too much about it. Take it slow and note all the information. A book to read again. 11 and up.
Chime, by Franny Billingsley: Franny Billingsley is one of my favorite authors, someone not very well known, maybe, because she has only written a few books. But her books are so good, perhaps because of the time between them. Chime is a GREAT book. It is the story of girl and a boy, in what may be an alternative Victorian England, getting to know each other. It's a little Austen-ish, she doesn't think she's good enough for him even though is certain they should be together and it is HYSTERICALLY funny, too. Our heroine is sarcastic, smart, strong, and she may be a witch. Please read this book (it will be out in March). 12 and up.
Beginners guide to Living, by Lia Hills (debut): Wow. Boy's mom dies, he meets a girl at the wake, falls in love, falls apart. Turns to philosophy to find a way. Very good, smart writing. I loved the way the romance and sex were presented in this. Very true to life. 14 and up. (PS: Love this cover.)
Sweet Treats and Secret Crushes, by Lisa Greenwald: Simple, fun book about three friends snowed in their apartment building on Valentine's Day. Out of boredom, they decide to deliver homemade fortune cookies to each apartment in the building. During the adventure, they get in fights, meet lots of people, and bring a small community together. She is the author of My Life in Pink and Green, another sweet book about discovering a niche for yourself while making the world a better place. 10 and up (boy crushes, though!).
Reading, but not yet finished:
Blind Your Ponies, by Stanley Gordon West (debut): Small town in Montana, basketball, a group of kids who have never won a game. It's good! the love scenes are a little over-written but I can deal with that. Grown-ups.
Big Crunch, by Pete Hautman: Boy, this is good. Boy and girl are friends, misunderstandings occur, love ensues, goes away, comes back? 13 and up.
She's Gone Country, by Jane Porter: Jane Porter is my guilty pleasure. I love her characters, they are like most of us. A little tortured about out decisions, worried about what we'll do in the future, are we good parents?. Good romances, fun writing, funny characters. This one takes place in Texas. Model Shey has moved back to Texas to the family ranch after her husband left her for another man. She's now raising her three boys on her own, and her high school boyfriend is single again. Ooh! Grown-ups.